Residential property transactions fell by more than 40% in the year to March but rose on a monthly basis, according to new figures from HMRC.
HMRC recorded 102,810 residential property transactions in March this year.
While the seasonally adjusted data shows that this is a 0.5% rise on February’s figures, it also reveals a 40.9% drop when compared to March 2016.
This dramatic year-on-year decline has been explained by the fact that there was a surge in residential transactions in March of last year, ahead of the Stamp Duty hike on second homes that came into effect on 1 April 2016.
HMRC has said that no direct comparison should be made between March 2016 and March 2017, due to the large peak in March last year. The figures also show that non-adjusted residential transactions in March 2017 were 20.9% higher compared to February 2017.
North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said:
“Figures such as those from the HMRC which record actual property transactions are much more relevant than rival indices reflecting price changes because they more accurately depict the health of the housing market rather than simply make people feel better about themselves.
“It will take a while for the hiccup in the market caused by the stamp duty surcharge introduced this time last year to ease but overall the market seems in good health and unlikely to be swayed too much by the General Election at this stage.”
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